Developer Productivity Takes Center Stage in Future Versions of Microsoft Visual Studio and SQL Server

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 28, 2003 — Kicking off the second day of the Microsoft Professional Developers Conference (PDC) 2003, Microsoft Corp. gave PDC attendees prerelease versions of Visual Studio, code-named “Whidbey,” and SQL Server, code-named “Yukon,” the next versions of Microsoft’s development tools and database. These releases center on continued advancements in developer productivity, making Web services easier and more powerful, and simplifying data access and management by taking advantage of the latest in Extensible Markup Language (XML) and managed code technologies. Microsoft expects beta versions of these products to be widely available to MSDN Universal subscribers in 2004.

“We are focused on making information easier to find, organize and act on, and at the same time on making developers as productive as possible building connected and information-driven applications,” said Eric Rudder, senior vice president of Servers and Tools at Microsoft. “With these new products on the horizon, we are enabling customers to succeed today while getting ready for technology that will help enable new opportunities in the long term.”

“Whidbey”: Advancing Developer Productivity

Microsoft demonstrated the productivity enhancements in Visual Studio “Whidbey” and the Microsoft .NET Framework “Whidbey” that enable developers and architects to more easily design and build applications including simple Web and client applications, mobile applications, and global-scale, service-oriented applications. Key innovations and enhancements in “Whidbey” include the following:

  • Web services designer. Visual Studio “Whidbey” includes a set of tools (code-named “Whitehorse”) that enables architects and developers to easily design service-oriented applications and operations infrastructure simultaneously. “Whitehorse” uses a drag-and-drop design surface to connect XML Web services, and then validates the resulting applications against the deployment environment using the System Definition Model (SDM), saving both time and money.

  • Programming language enhancements. “Whidbey” continues Microsoft’s commitment to developer productivity, introducing a set of language features, ranging from “edit-and-continue” – a core rapid-application development technology – to simplified abstractions for many common tasks, and the introduction of generics in the Common Language Runtime (CLR). In addition, development of data-centric applications in Visual Basic .NET is simplified with a new drag-and-drop design-time experience to produce highly scalable information-driven applications.

  • Enhancements to ASP.NET. “Whidbey” introduces services and controls to reduce code in common scenarios by up to 70 percent, and new design tools that enable developers to deliver a personalized browsing experience for end users. ASP.NET “Whidbey” will also deliver support for themes and master pages, making it easy to create and maintain Web sites that have a consistent look and feel, and new management and configuration capabilities that simplify the management and deployment of Web applications.

  • Improvements to application deployment and operations. The “Whidbey” version of the .NET Framework also boasts support for 64-bit processors to enable scaling to the largest processors requiring little work on the part of the developer, and a new deployment technology, code-named “ClickOnce,” that enables applications to be installed, updated and even rolled back to previous versions more easily.

Demonstrating the industry’s anticipation and enthusiasm for the upcoming tools and technologies, more than 40 industry partners today announced their plans to build development products that integrate with and support Visual Studio and the .NET Framework “Whidbey,” including AmberPoint Inc., Compuware Corp., Intel, LogicLibrary Inc. and Merant and other industry-leading companies. Just three months after expanding the Visual Studio Industry Partner (VSIP) program to three levels of membership, the ecosystem has experienced tremendous growth, from 175 partners, delivering more than 300 products, and an additional 7,500 new partners that have downloaded the VSIP Software Development Kit and joined the Affiliate level of the program.

SQL Server “Yukon”: Significantly Enhanced Database Development Experience

Microsoft detailed features available with SQL Server “Yukon” (a member of the Windows Server System), which will provide developers with integrated tools for improved database development. Building on the technology provided in SQL Server 2000, SQL Server “Yukon” will offer rich XML support and deeper integration with .NET Framework technologies and Microsoft development tools. Through the enhancements outlined below, SQL Server “Yukon” will significantly increase developer productivity and flexibility while reducing complexity:

  • Expanded language support. The most notable developer advancement for SQL Server “Yukon” is that the Common Language Runtime will be hosted in the database engine. This will enable developers to choose from a variety of familiar languages including Transact-SQL, Visual Basic .NET and Visual C# .NET to develop stored procedures in databases and user-defined types.

  • XML and Web services. SQL Server “Yukon” will also include substantial advancements for XML and Web services such as support for XQuery and XML, including a native XML datatype. These technologies will enable organizations to more easily connect internal and external systems. In addition, by supporting both relational and XML data natively, enterprises will be able to store, manage and analyze data in the format that best suits their needs. SQL Server “Yukon” will also include support for existing and emerging open standards such as HTTP, XML, Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP), XQuery and XML Schema Definition (XSD).

  • Improved tools. Microsoft has made significant investments to enhance tools in SQL Server “Yukon” that will enable developers to utilize one development tool for Transact-SQL, XML, Multidimensional Expression (MDX) and XML for Analysis (XML/A). By integrating with Visual Studio, SQL Server “Yukon” will enable more efficient development and debugging of line-of-business and business intelligence applications.

With nearly 2,000 customers and partners participating in the early beta program, “Yukon” promises to not only deliver on the promise of making developers and customers more productive, it will also be the most broadly tested version of SQL Server released to date.

Advances in Mobile Application Development

Microsoft also announced three milestones for developers targeting the industry’s broadest mobile application development platform. They include updates to the Tablet PC SDK, the next version of the Windows Mobile Smartphone Device Developer Kit and updates to Microsoft’s Mobile2Market program. The alpha release of Tablet PC SDK 1.7 adds support for inking on the Web, enhanced contextual support for handwriting recognition and a real-time stylus. The new Windows Mobile Smartphone Device Developer Kit includes the latest version of Windows Mobile for Smartphone 2003 and features tight integration with Visual Studio .NET. Windows Mobile for Smartphone 2003 and Pocket PC 2003 feature the .NET Compact Framework in read-only memory (ROM). Enhancements to the Mobile2Market program bring developers three steps closer to their customers by lowering the cost of application signing, broadening the potential base of customers and improving the overall catalog experience.

About the Professional Developers Conference

The Microsoft Professional Developers Conference (PDC) is Microsoft’s premier developer event. The PDC brings together the world’s top developers to get an early look at Microsoft software innovations, to interact with the technology leaders within Microsoft and the broad Microsoft development community, and to discover the opportunity presented by targeting the Microsoft platform.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software – any time, any place and on any device.

Microsoft, Visual Studio, MSDN, Visual Basic, Windows Server System, Visual C# and Windows Mobile are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

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